USG fights for domestic benefits
Published: Thursday, April 27, 2000
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 22:06
The Undergraduate Student Government Senate voted to support a student domestic partnership plan and revisions to the Student Code of Conduct at Wednesday night’s senate meeting. “The Undergraduate Student Government representatives have been and will continue to advocate for domestic partner benefits in public and private settings,” said USG President Josh Mandel. “Students want it, students deserve it, and the university has a responsibility to provide it.” The proposed plan will allow students who have met certain criteria to buy student health insurance for their domestic partners as well as themselves. There is a certain standard criteria for domestic partnership, but it is not necessarily the criteria that will be used here at OSU, said Mary Daniels, assistant vice president for the Office of Student Affairs. The partnership includes same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried couples. The criteria states that the relationship be monogamous and that the individuals involved must be at least 18 years of age. Also, the two must be jointly responsible for each other’s welfare, may not be related by blood and must reside together for 12 consecutive months prior to signing the domestic partnership declaration. The university would not be financially responsible for the domestic partner benefits. “Students 100 percent pay for this and it’s something they’ve been asking for,” Daniels said. The USG Senate also decided to support the revisions to the Student Code of Conduct, which would hold students responsible for off-campus activities. “This is a major revision of the existing code of conduct,” said Katherine Kisker, coordinator of the Committee on Academic Misconduct. “It’s a distinct enhancement over the current code.” The senate debated the gray areas of the revisions. The main objection was that the ambiguous wording was full of loopholes in which students could be wrongly or unfairly punished. The revised code would hold students accountable for activities committed off-campus that threatened the health, safety, or well-being of members of the university community. Furthermore, activities in which a police report or criminal complaint had been filed, an arrest was made, or a summons or indictment had been issued would also be grounds for university involvement.